Peeper is still getting around primarily by cruising, but she’s certainly able to walk if she needs to.
We’ve been seeing / making some changes in Peeper’s sleep habits lately, but I’ve been scared to write about them, for fear of jinxing it.
It’s been almost a month now, so I’m going to take my chances.
We’ve never really had big “problems” with Peeper’s sleep, other than the nights that she’s napped too late and then stayed up way later than we wanted.
That was mostly my fault, for allowing the nap (knowing damn well that I’d be sorry a few hours later) so I can’t really complain too much.
Once she’s down for the night, though, she will wake a few times to nurse (which just requires rolling over and flopping a boob in her general direction) and that’s it until morning – which is usually about ten hours later.
(When I told BabyBro that, he (the father of then-six-week-old twins) said, in awe, “Ten hours?! In a row?!”)
Only very, very rarely have we actually had to get up with her in the night – and that’s only been when she’s sick and feeling crappy and having trouble breathing while laying down (and while nursing).
Yes, we do realize how lucky we are.
The one catch to her nighttime sleep, though, has been when it happens. Because of Shrike’s second-shift schedule, we’ve always waited up for her and then slept from like 2 am (or later, at times) to noon.
Which is fine and dandy, except that everything in the world that you can go and do with a baby – from MOMS Club activities, to story time at the library, to The Little Gym toddler time – happens at 10 am.
Evidently, normal babies sleep all afternoon, and then their big brothers and sisters come home from school, and then there’s dinner and bedtime and for some reason nobody wants to play with me and Peeper at 9 pm! Or even 3 pm.
So, for quiet a while, we’ve been trying to figure out how to get her on an earlier schedule, so that we can go and do in the mornings, but without a lot of luck.
Then, we fell back.
I think we are the only parents of young children in the entire world who were actually happy about what the time change did to their kid!
On Halloween, Peeper just happened to get an early and short first nap, then she fell asleep while trick-or-treating, and had an early and short second nap, which set her up to go to bed about an hour early.
And the time changed that night – which added up to a two-hour shift in her bed time and wake up time.
Somehow, I managed to maintain that shift over the next week or so. We bathed around 11 pm, and were at least ready for bed when Shrike got home. Some night, she was even asleep in my lap, and actually stayed that way through the dogs greeting Shrike, and the transfer to bed.
When we went to Texas, we didn’t have Shrike’s schedule to work against, so we continued to keep it up, even going to bed and getting up “earlier” some nights, because of the timezone difference.
Then, we made another big shift while we were in Texas.
As I’ve mentioned before, Peeper has always taken her naps in my lap, usually nursing the whole time.
A few months ago, we switched to getting her to sleep for the night in bed, rather than nursing in front of the computer then moving to bed, but the naps hadn’t changed.
Also, it was very difficult to leave her alone in the bed while sleeping, either at night or during the day, because she’d wake up so easily. She would get a much longer nap in my lap, so it was hard to get motivated to do anything different.
Mostly, I really like her sleeping in my lap, but sometimes I do suppose it would be handy to be able to “do things” while she’s alseep, somewhere other than in front of the computer.
When we were in Texas, though, she was often in dire need of a nap, but not settling down while other people were around, so I’d take her in the bedroom and nurse her to sleep in the bed.
Sometimes, I fell asleep with her, but other times, I snuck out and left her alone with a baby monitor, and – wonder of wonders – she slept!
Maybe not as long as she would have if I could just pop a boob in her mouth when she stirred, but long enough to get the job done.
Then at night, I also snuck out of bed for a while – to get a snack, or start some laundry, or blog and check email / facebook / twitter, or just to have a bit of time to “myself.”
I guess that was the thing that made it different there – although my family was around all the time, I was still 100% “on duty” with Peeper 24/7. At home, I hand her off to Shrike and can relax, knowing that she’s perfectly happy, but when we’re travelling, I can’t leave the room to go potty without worrying that she’s going to be upset about it, so those few minutes of “freedom” while she slept on her own were very welcome.
The other thing that I think really helped was the music. I started playing music while we were napping to drown out the noisy neighbors, but I’ve kept it up and made it part of our nap/bedtime routine.
Since we’ve been home, I’ve stuck with this new routine, and have tried to do one nap a day in bed (usually the second one; for example she’s in my lap right now, having her first nap), and then we’ve bathed and gotten in bed by around eleven most nights.
I leave the music playing for her, and turn on the monitor and go about my business.
Yes, I would hear her cry without the monitor, but it makes me more comfortable with going to the other end of the house – where the kitchen and laundry room are. Also, I’ll hear her more quickly, and can get in there and settle her before she gets good and awake.
Most nights, she’s not stirred or woken enough to cry until well after Shrike’s gotten home. I think the music helps a lot by drowning out the other sounds in the house – like me doing dishes (on occassion) and, especially, the dogs greeting Shrike when she gets in.
So far, we’re thrilled with this arrangement.
Peeper doesn’t seem to mind too much (As long as we get to her pretty quickly when she does wake up – I do still feel awful about her waking up in there alone, even if it’s only for a few seconds, really.), I get some free time (maybe I’ll even work my way up to cooking while she naps, or something crazy like that) and Shrike and I actually have a few minutes alone together, which is pretty novel, and rather nice.
On a semi-related note, now that we’re getting up earlier, I’m trying to get out to more MOMS Club activities – sometimes even all by myself.
As hard as it is (and I do still hate walking out the door and leaving Peeper behind) I do enjoy myself while I’m there and the baby-free time is rather refreshing.
Also, I know that it’s very good for Mommy and Peeper to have some time alone together, without Mama checking up on them, or poised to swoop in to the rescue.
Yesterday, I went to book club for about three hours. Things went pretty well at home, and I didn’t even cry!
Shrike tells me that Peeper did have one “episode” during which she was crying and was signing “milk” at her (Knife in my heart! But also, so proud of her!) but then she settled down, and when I got home, they were both asleep in the bed!
It seems that they were reading books in Peeper’s room, when Shrike noticed Peep’s head bobbing up and down. She put her in the bed, and she was out.
This morning, I went to a MOMS-only coffeed (At Starbucks! In Target!) and they stayed home again. This trip was much shorter, because I had to get home from Shrike to go into work early (early deadline tonight, because of all the Black Friday inserts going in tomorrow’s paper).
This time, when I picked Peeper up to say goodbye, she just waved at me like, “Yeah, whatever, Mama. Check ya later,” and Shrike said she was just fine the whole time I was gone.
If this goes well another time or two, we might even have – gasp! – someone else watch her, so we can have – gasp! – a datenight or something.
People have been telling us for months that Peeper is “about to walk,” but I think she really is now.
You saw the video from Wednesday, of her voluntarily (with coaxing) letting go and taking a few steps, and she’s been doing that more and more.
Since we’ve been at the conference, I think she’s had a lot of incentive to try to go places on her own, because there are lots of other babies to go check out.
Last night, she stood up for at least a minute or two, just like it was the most natural thing in the world.
A little while later, I was sitting in the floor, and she was sitting on my leg, and before I realized what was going on, she’d stood up (just like an adult would pop right up out of a chair) and walked about two or three steps over to another baby.
I was like, “Whoa! You’re not supposed to do that!”
Today, she’s been standing unassisted a lot more, and taking some more steps.
There’s a twelve-year-old boy here who’s taken quite a shine to her, and has made it his goal for the weekend to teach her to walk. This afternoon, she was very happy to walk back and forth (about four steps?) between us, which just made his day.
Then, this evening, she took off from my lap and walked several steps, almost to a little kitchen toy (the exact same one our library has, actually).
She made it almost there -about 2 steps away, and I think she realized what she’d done and sort of panicked.
She stopped and crouched a bit and kind of swayed back and forth and then plopped down on her booty.
It was quite impressive.
I think our days are numbered.
Peeper’s newest trick (as of today): Voluntarily letting go and taking a couple of steps!
Remember a month or so ago, when Peeper took her “official first steps,” after we’d stood her up between us and let go, and she threw her feet in front of herself a couple of times as she fell into our arms?
Well, she’s really not done it again since then.
But, a couple of times lately, we’ve let go of her and she’s stayed upright for a few seconds, and a few times, when she’s holding onto something with one hand, and has a toy in the other hand, we’ve seen her accidentally let go to handle the toy with both hands, and balance for a few seconds before grabbing hold again.
Then, tonight at Kindermusik, when we were dancing and such, two or three times, she let go with both hands, and then took a couple of steps to one of us!
I checked Peeper’s mouth during our bath, and it seems that toothy #5 has broken through since last night.
There’s another in the works, but it looks to be at least a week or two behind.
(Because I’m now such the expert on baby teething.)
Okay, baby signers – what do you make of this?
Am I seeing things? Is she just trying to clap, or is she signing “more?”
A couple of hours ago, Shrike and Peeper were reading books in her room, and I was playing on the computer, when Shrike said, “Honey, I think she’s getting some teeth on top.”
Well, okay, we’ve had a bit of a reprieve from the teething grumpiness, so I suppose it’s time to move on to the next round.
A day or two ago, I’d felt around up there and thought that I was starting to feel some lumps where teeth will be, so it makes sense that they’d be starting to bother her.
“Because I think she’s grinding them together.”
Yeah, I bet it would feel kind of good to push those sharpy-sharp bottom teeth into the top gums, where the new teeth are starting to push out.
“I mean, I hear it.”
I went in there, and stuck my finger in Peeper’s mouth, and what the fuck?! sure enough, there is another tooth poking through her gum, on the top left.
Shrike said, “I knew there had to be a tooth there, because I could hear them grinding. I know what grinding teeth sound like.
(She’s a grinder. And, evidently, so is Peeper. Or maybe she’s just playing with her new mouth-toy.)
“And you know what else?” Shrike said, “When she started grinding them – we were looking at this picture.”
We were playing with Peeper this evening, “walking” her back and forth between us.
Basically, we’d walk her to the middle, and let go. She might or might not put one foot forward as she fell into waiting arms.
Then we turned on the camera, and she did this. It’s not much, but it’s a start!
While this was uploading (and the camera’s memory card was indisposed) she did it several more times, more and more deliberately.
More video coming soon, I am sure!